The U.S. Social Security system is a pay-as-you-go system, that is, payroll taxes collected from today’s workers mostly go to pay today’s retirees.
The problem is that, as our population ages, fewer young workers are paying into the system relative to rising numbers of ever-longer-lived retirees drawing benefits. So the reality is that the American Social Security system already confronts insolvency . . . it cannot afford to pay all the benefits it has promised. In other words, past and current Social Security participants have been promised far more in benefits than they will pay in taxes over their lifetimes.
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And no, none of this has anything to do with the misinformation that Congress stole Social Security funds, it did not. It has everything to do with Congress failing to fully fund the promises made by Social Security, ignoring the urging of the Trustees to take action sooner rather than later and failing to tell Americans the truth that higher benefits and changing demographics require higher taxes and/or adjustment to some aspects of the program to fund the Social Security promise.